M1 Mount Comeback To Defeat Hampstead
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men came from 2-0 down to beat Hampstead & Westminster 3-2 and avenge their defeat at Sugden Road back in November, when Hampstead won for the first time in an away match at Surbiton.
Surbiton were heading for another defeat when Hampstead led 2-0 after just 24 minutes, but after pulling a goal back in the first half, Surbiton won with a last gasp penalty corner conversion.
Hampstead had been awarded a 5-0 win the previous weekend when opponents Holcombe withdrew and were determined to make up for lost pitch time when Rupert Shipperley shot past the left post in only the second minute.
Hampstead took the lead in the tenth minute when penalty corner specialist Matt Guise-Brown converted Hampstead's only penalty corner of the match.
In contrast, Surbiton had thirteen with Hampstead's penalty corner defence frequently able to frustrate Luke Taylor and Gareth Furlong until the 29th minute when Taylor finally converted, but not with a trademark drag-flick, following up with a rebound after Furlong's initial shot on goal was saved by Hampstead goalkeeper, Toby Reynolds-Cotterill.
At this point, Surbiton trailed 2-1, Shipperley following up his second minute effort with a 24th minute goal from open play. the score reflecting the result of the first meeting.
Ben Park had been unlucky in the first quarter as Reynolds-Cotterill made a couple of saves from open play.
Surbiton's pressure from penalty corners intensified towards the end of the first half, but Hampstead held firm and the trend continued in the first ten minutes of the second half.
Furlong's patience was rewarded in the 44th minute when he finally converted from Surbiton's ninth penalty corner and the drama concluded in the final minute when Surbiton's thirteenth penalty corner proved unlucky for Hampstead, Furlong converting and then celebrating when the final whistle sounded shortly afterwards.
Although the game was largely dominated by the penalty corner count, both David Goodfield and Tim Nurse made threatening runs, but Surbiton, as at East Grinstead and at home to Old Georgians, ultimately relied on their penalty corner routine to breach their opponents defence.
On Sunday, Old Georgians extended their lead to eight points over Surbiton after they came from behind to win 5-3 at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon's defeat, combined with Hampstead's loss on Saturday night meant that Surbiton moved above Wimbledon on goal difference. Old Georgians are top with 36 points, Surbiton are second on 28, with a two better goal difference than Wimbledon, also on 28 points and Hampstead & Westminster are fourth on 26 points.
Holcombe are fifth on 23 points after they drew 3-3 at East Grinstead, currently in sixth place on eleven points.
In the bottom 5, Beeston closed to within one point of seventh placed Oxted after a 3-2 home win over the University of Exeter, who stay bottom on one point.
Brooklands Manchester University eased their relegation fears with a 4-1 win at Durham University, who are now in the relegation zone, three points behind Brooklands.